Dexter Southfield Logo

Class 1

Class 1 students experience a traditional self-contained classroom where most classes occur in the homeroom and are the responsibility of the homeroom teacher. In addition to the “specials” listed below, students also have sports every day and attend a weekly assembly where a teacher or an upper school student gives a short talk on character or a special holiday.

Language Arts

The language arts curriculum immerses students in reading, writing, and oral language. Students are exposed to fiction and non-fiction literature in guided, independent, and read-aloud formats as they develop their decoding, fluency, and reading comprehension skills. They are introduced to the writing process of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, evaluating, and publishing as they learn the components of any story – beginning, middle, and end. Grammar, spelling, and basic punctuation are taught, as is handwriting. Students are given multiple opportunities to develop their oral communication skills. 


The mathematics curriculum promotes fluency and understanding of the language and concepts of mathematics. Lessons focus on basic computational skills, problem solving, number sense, and an awareness of mathematics in everyday life. Strategies for learning the basic addition and subtraction facts are taught and reinforced all year. Explicit instruction in fundamental mathematical concepts and hands-on experiences using various manipulative materials are provided.

Social Studies

In Class 1, students learn about their own life stories with the unit entitled, All About Me and then expands in scope to include My Family and My School Community. Other units involve the Story of the Pilgrims and an introduction of general map skills.


In Class 1 science program uses an interactive approach and provides each student with the necessary tools and strategies to develop a working knowledge of basic science concepts. All lower school classes have an astronomy unit, and students in Class 1 focus on the sun. 

Public Speaking

Public speaking is an integral part of the curriculum at all grade levels of the School. Students have numerous opportunities to speak in front of their class, and annually each class presents a formal program for a larger audience. 


Students in Class 1 have a computer class in the “Mouse House,” the lower school computer lab, where they work on computer activities that support their math and language arts curricula and develop their keyboarding skills. 


Fine arts – Students are introduced to a variety of materials and techniques. Storytelling is integrated into projects, and a nurturing environment encourages experimentation. Performing Arts – Students explore the basic musical elements of melody, rhythm, harmony, tempo, dynamics, instrumentation, form, and history through a variety of activities. They participate in singing, moving, playing instruments, listening, reading, and composing. Shop – In woodworking students cut out simple shapes with coping saws and learn the sequence of sawing, hammering, filing, and sanding as they complete several projects. 


The primary school coordinator teaches lessons throughout the year that focus on a theme relating to friendship, conflict resolution, or a character trait. A book is read aloud, with frequent pauses so that age-appropriate open-ended discussions can occur. Homeroom teachers follow up daily with the students on these themes and other topics about being a thoughtful citizen.


Spanish will be taught to all lower school students, beginning in Pre-K. The program’s scope and sequence will build strong foundational skills and spark passion for learning about other cultures, countries, and people. The program will also enhance students’ fundamental cognitive and communication skills, and their versatility.


Dexter Southfield School • 617-522-5544 •

Report an Absence • Admissions: 617-751-3600

20 Newton Street Brookline, Massachusetts 02445 Directions


Careers • Public Telescope Nights • Summer Camps